The Ages to Come…..
By Pastor F. M. Riley
July 30, 2011
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins hath quickened [made alive] us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly [in the heavenlies] places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:4-7.
The true believer is saved by God’s “grace,” Ephesians 2:8. We New Covenant believers today, having believed and been “born again” [John 3:3-7]then enjoy “the riches of His grace,” Ephesians 1:7. But as wonderful as God’s grace is upon His people in this present life, our text for this study makes it quite clear that we have not yet experienced “the exceeding riches of His grace.” These “exceeding riches” of God’s grace are reserved for true believers to enter into and enjoy “in the ages to come.” Glory to God! What great things yet await the children of God!
What has been revealed to us in the Scriptures is the general outline of God’s great Plan of the Ages, Ephesians 1:7-11. In carefully studying this plan, we catch brief “glimpses” of what yet lies in store for those whom God has graciously redeemed. These “glimpses” are what this study is about. Join us for an enlightening study about “the ages to come”…….
Man’s Original State
When the Lord God created mankind upon the earth, He created man to rule and reign over the entire earth, Genesis 1:26-28. The earth and “every living thing that moveth upon the earth” was placed under the dominion of mankind, Genesis 1:29-30. Adam and Eve, as created, were literally the King and Queen over the entire earth. It is quite obvious that God’s intention was that man should rule over the entire earth, and that every “living thing” on the earth would be subject to mankind. What a wonderful gift from God! But it was a gift that needed to be guarded [Genesis 2:15], for even at that time there were enemies which coveted what God had bestowed upon mankind and were extremely jealous of and filled with hatred for man.
Any serious Bible student knows what happened next. Through Satan’s deception of Eve sin was introduced into the human race, Genesis 3. Adam, the first man [1 Corinthians 15:45], God’s appointed head of the human race, then disobeyed God and brought sin and death upon mankind, Romans 5:12. Sadly, having fallen from his original state of innocence he lost the “kingdom” which the Lord had given to man, and what had once belonged to man passed into Satan’s possession, 2 Peter 2:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Luke 4:5-6; Matthew 4:8-9; John 12:31.
The Adamic Covenant
Many of God’s people today are not aware that the Lord God gave the earth and “every living thing that moveth upon the earth” to mankind by making a covenant [agreement] with Adam. The
terms and conditions of the original covenant between the Lord God and man were set forth in Genesis 1:28-30 and 2:7-25. Let me assure our readers that I am not setting forth some wild “theory.” The Word of God explicitly says that the earth and “every living thing that moveth” was given to Adam by covenant, . “But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against Me,” Hosea 6:7. If our readers will check their Concordance or Lexicon, the word translated as “men” in this Scripture is the Hebrew word “Adam.” Check it out for yourself! This Scripture then literally states, “But they like Adam have transgressed the covenant…” There obviously had to have been a covenant between the Lord God and Adam, otherwise Adam could not have “transgressed” it. This inspired passage makes it clear that the Lord God did give the earth and everything on it to mankind through a covenant with Adam. But Adam violated that covenant when he disobeyed the Lord and in doing so lost everything that the Lord had planned and prepared for mankind.
Need for a “new covenant”
The violation of the original covenant resulted in the loss of everything the Lord God had given to mankind through Adam [the head or progenitor of the whole human race]. This produced a crisis! [No, it was not a crisis on God’s part! Never lose sight of the fact that God knew the end from the beginning]. Since the original covenant had been violated and everything the Lord God has given to mankind in the Adamic Covenant had now passed into possession of Satan, if God’s plan for mankind was to succeed then at some point in the future the Lord God would have to make “a new covenant” with mankind. This “new covenant” with man would of necessity have to contain different terms and conditions than the original covenant in order to guarantee that “the fall of man” which occurred under the original covenant would never occur again in all of “the ages to come.” Such a “new covenant” would also have to be made with “a man” [Genesis 3:15] who would once again be the head or progenitor of the whole human race. What a problem! But not for the Lord God of Heaven…..
How could such a problem be solved? How? I urge our readers to carefully study the “Incarnation of Christ!” Now read 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 15:45, and 15:47-49 and rejoice! The Lord Jesus Christ not only came into this world as a man in order to redeem fallen mankind, but also
in order to redeem everything that mankind lost in Adam’s fall. This process of redemption for fallen mankind most definitely involved the making of “a new covenant” between the Lord God of Heaven and mankind. Praise the Lord!
If some readers think this is just my opinion, then perhaps they would like to explain why such a “new covenant” was specifically predicted in the inspired Word of God in Jeremiah 31:31-34?
Now here is an amazing thing! The “new covenant” was explicitly prophesied in the inspired Jewish Scriptures in Jeremiah 31:31-34 some 600 years before the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world, and yet today the religious Jews and many of those who call themselves “Messianic Jews” do not want the “new covenant,” refuse to believe that a “new covenant” was given, and will not read it, believe it, or accept it. No wonder the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said of such Jews, “Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” Matthew 15:7-9. Their rejection of Jeremiah 31:31-34 makes it clear that the “religious Jews” and even many of those who claim to be “Messianic Jews” do not believe their own Jewish Scriptures! Is this stated plainly enough…?!?!?
The average “professing Christian” today has never made any serious study of “the covenants”
set forth in God’s Word. A few true believers have made the effort to seriously study the covenants, but most believers today know next to nothing about the covenants set forth in God’s Word. This is
just a sad reality. It is sad because if a true believer is really interested in knowing about their own future in “the ages to come,” then they need to know what the Lord God has determined for mankind by the covenants He has made with man in the past.
I am now going to list the major covenants set forth in the Scriptures in order that our readers can study these covenants for themselves. Please keep in mind that even though men have broken these covenants again and again, the Lord God has never changed His mind and every covenant listed is an “everlasting covenant,” Ecclesiastes 3:14.
GOD’S COVENANT WITH ADAM…….This covenant with all of its terms and conditions is set forth in Genesis 1 – 2. Even though Adam violated this covenant thereby bringing sin and death upon the whole human race [Romans 5:12], the Lord God never changed His mind that the earth and every living thing upon it should be placed under the dominion of man. Therefore it will be! God’s people can count on it! Praise the Lord!
GOD’S COVENANT WITH NOAH…….This covenant with all of its terms and conditions is set forth in Genesis 8 – 9. All of God’s covenants with mankind are “everlasting” covenants, but this is the first covenant in God’s Word where the term, “everlasting covenant” actually occurs, 9:16. This covenant is explicitly stated to be between God and Noah [mankind] and “every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth…….for perpetual [ceaseless; unending] generations,” 9:12; 9:16-17. This means that a billion years from today there will still be a natural people [exactly as God originally created Adam and Eve] living on the earth reproducing themselves through procreation. Even though mankind has repeatedly violated this covenant, yet the Lord God has never changed His mind and His “bow” still appears in the clouds “for a token [sign] of a covenant between Me and the earth,” 9:12-17. Glory to God!
GOD’S COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM…….This covenant with all of its terms and conditions is set forth in Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-17, 14:18-20, 15:1-21, 17:1-27, 18:17-19, 22:15-18, and is referred to numerous other places in God’s Word. In this Abrahamic Covenant the “seed” of Abraham was promised “all the land” where Abraham was sojourning “for ever,” 13:14-15; 15:7; 15:18-21; 17:7-8. Three times the Scriptures explicitly state that this covenant is an “everlasting covenant,” 17:7; 17:13; 17:19. The fleshly descendants of Abraham [the Jewish people] have violated this covenant again and again, yet the Lord God remains faithful to His Word and has never changed His mind about His promises to Abraham and his “seed” through all these centuries. The land promised to Abraham by an “everlasting covenant” will be inherited by the “seed” of Abraham and there will be Jewish people living on that land in their natural bodies throughout all of “the ages to come.” Glory to God! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!
GOD’S COVENANT WITH ISAAC…….This covenant with all of its terms and conditions is set forth in Genesis 26:1-5 and 26:23-25. This covenant with Isaac is actually a re-confirmation of the covenant the Lord originally made with Abraham. The Lord graciously re-confirmed it with Isaac, assuring him that his “seed” would also be given the land that he was sojourning in just as the Lord God had promised his father Abraham. Through all of these centuries, even though the descendants of Abraham and Isaac have violated these covenants, the Lord God has never changed His mind, Malachi 3:6. See also Deuteronomy 7:6-9, 1 Chronicles 16:15-18, Psalm 105:5-11, Galatians 4:21-31, and Hebrews 11:8-9.
GOD’S COVENANT WITH JACOB…….This covenant with all of its terms and conditions is set forth
in Genesis 28:10-15, 32:24-30, 35:1, 35:6-12, 46:1-4, 48:1-5, 48:14-20, and is mentioned numerous other places in the Scriptures. This covenant with Jacob is also a re-confirmation of the original covenant the Lord God made with Abraham, and later re-confirmed with Isaac, 1 Chronicles 16:15-18; Psalm 105:5-11. Notice that in both of these passages setting forth the re-confirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant with Isaac and Jacob, it is explicitly stated that the covenant is an “everlasting covenant” and that their “seed” would be given “the land of Canaan” as their “inheritance.” The Lord God has never changed His mind! Glory to God!
GOD’S COVENANT WITH ISRAEL…….God’s Covenant of Law was given to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai after they were delivered out of the land of Egypt. The terms and conditions of this Covenant of Law are set forth beginning in Exodus 20:1-17 and continue through the rest of the Book of Exodus and the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The basic foundation of this covenant is what is commonly referred to as “The Ten Commandments.” However, these ten basic commandments were amplified and explained by “statutes” and “ordinances” and “judgments” set forth in Exodus and the three other books of the Torah [Law]. It is also a fact of Biblical history that from time to time God’s appointed prophets who lived under the Old Covenant were given authority from the Lord to “clarify” certain points in the Covenant of Law.
If those reading God’s Word today would pay serious attention to what they are reading, it would become obvious…….
 That the Covenant of Law was given to Israel and the Jewish people, and was never given to any other nation or people on earth, Leviticus 26:46; Deuteronomy 4:1-8; 4:12-14; 4::32-40; 4:44-45; 2 Samuel 7:23-24; 1 Chronicles 17:21-22; Romans 2:14.
 That just like all the preceding covenants, the Covenant of Law was an “everlasting covenant.” The Old Covenant redeemed Jewish people and their children and their children’s children and so on throughout all future generations will continue to observe the Covenant of Law “for ever” while living in and on the land which the Lord gave to them by this “everlasting covenant.” See Exodus 12:14-24, 27:20-21, 28:43, 29:4-9, 29:28, 30:8, 30:21, 31:12-17, 40:13-15, Leviticus 3:17, 6:18, 6:22, 7:34-36, 10:8-9, 10:15, 16:29-34, 17:7, 23:14, 23:21, 23:31, 23:41, 24:3, 24:8-9, Numbers 10:8, 15:14-16, 18:8-11, 18:19, 18:20-23, 19:10, 25:11-13, Deuteronomy 12:28, and 29:29.
 That the Covenant of Law was to be temporarily set aside at the “appointed time” in order that the Lord God might show mercy upon the Gentiles, Romans 3:9-20; 11:1-11; 11:25; 11:32.
 That there would be “a change” made in the Covenant of Law. It was the Lord God who gave the Covenant of Law to Moses at Mt. Sinai for the children of Israel, and as the Supreme Law Giver the Lord God not only had a perfect right to make a “change” in the Law, but He did “change” it, [Hebrews 7:11-19], and will change it yet again, Isaiah 55:3; 61:8; Jeremiah 32:40; Ezekiel 16:59-63; 37:26-28. The “change” will not be in the laws, statutes, and ordinances given to Israel, but rather  in where the Law will be written in “the ages to come,” and  how the Law will be administered, and  to whom the Law will apply.
I want to remind our readers that at the beginning of the personal ministry of Christ [John 2:13-17] and again at the end of the personal ministry of Christ [Matthew 21:12-13], the Lord cleansed the Temple of the money changers, merchandisers, and loan sharks, stating explicitly, “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves,” Mark 11:15-17; Isaiah 56:7. This statement alone should give spiritual insight to those readers who seriously study the Scriptures. The Jewish Temple [Millennial Temple] will ultimately become a central place of worship for all the nations upon the earth, and will no longer be exclusively for the Jewish people. Carefully study Ezekiel 40 – 48 and Zechariah 14:16-21.
The “change” in the Law  took away the Law written on “tables of stone,” [Colossians 2:14], and began writing God’s Law in the “fleshly tables of the heart” for both Jew and Gentile who would
believe, Ezekiel 11:17-20; 36:24-28; Romans 2:14-15. The “change” in the Law  made provision for the Law to be administered to both Jew and Gentile by the “grace of God” through “faith” and in the Spirit of “love,” Galatians 5:4-6; Ephesians 2:8-10. The “change” in the Law  did not do away with “the everlasting covenant” of Law which the Lord God made with Israel as His own chosen nation and people [Matthew 5:17-18], but rather revealed that all the Law was fulfilled in the sacrifice of Christ, Romans 10:4. Therefore the “change” placed the Jewish people under the “new covenant” by “the grace of God,” [Jeremiah 31:1-2; 31:31-34], and made provision for the salvation of the Gentiles through “the grace of God.” Through the centuries many Jews have come to realize this truth and have given their hearts and lives to Christ. But sadly, the Jews as a people do not yet know this because their own unbelief has blinded their minds to the truth of God’s grace, Romans 11:5-7; 11:25; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. But presently unbelieving Israel and the Jewish people shall come to know this truth, for the Scriptures explicitly state that “the power of God through faith unto salvation” is “ready to be revealed [to the Jews] in the last time,” 1 Peter 1:5; 1:9-10; 1:13; Zechariah 4:6-7; 12:10. Glory to God! Praise the Lord! Pray for our lost Jewish brethren!
GOD’S COVENANT WITH DAVID…….This covenant with all of its terms and conditions is set forth in 2 Samuel 7:1-17 and 1 Chronicles 17:1-15. This is one of the most important covenants in the Bible when it comes to understanding and “rightly dividing the Word of truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15. A good understanding of what is actually stated in this covenant will clarify the role of both the redeemed Jewish people and New Covenant believers in “the ages to come.” Study these passages!
In this Davidic Covenant the Lord told David that He would “make thee a house,” 7:11; 17:10. This literally means that the “House of David” would be established as a “dynasty” to rule over the nation and people of Israel “for evermore,” 7:12-16; 17:11-14. This means what it says, and it says what it means! But it wasn’t limited to just the “House of David”…….
King David himself has a personal role to fulfill in this covenant! Notice the Lord’s promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:16, “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” The expression, “before thee,” literally means “before your own eyes in your presence.” Check it out for yourself! That David himself understood this statement as literal truth was confirmed by David’s reply to the Lord in 2 Samuel 7:18-19 and 1 Chronicles 17:16-27. Glory to God! Hallelujah!
Of course this Davidic Covenant was to be fulfilled based on the work of the “seed” of David, 2 Samuel 7:12-15; 1 Chronicles 17;11-14. Both of these passages directly refer to the Lord Jesus Christ who was [and is] the “seed” of David, Matthew 1:1. David’s son, Solomon, believed that these prophecies applied to him [2 Chronicles 6:8-11] and did his best to fulfill them. He was grossly mistaken. There is no way that the throne and kingdom of Solomon was established “for ever,” 2 Samuel 7:13. It is also glaringly obvious that the Lord God was not Solomon’s father and Solomon was not the Son of God, and Solomon was certainly not the One who was “chastened with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men,” 2 Samuel 7:14. That sad and terrible, but glorious honor, belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ, Isaiah 53:1-12.
The truths set forth in the Davidic Covenant are explicitly confirmed in the prophecies of the Book of Ezekiel. The prophet Ezekiel lived hundreds of years after King David, yet Ezekiel explicitly prophesied that King David would be the “shepherd” and “prince” over Israel and would be Israel’s “king” and “prince for ever” in the future “ages to come,” Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24-25. When the land of Israel is again divided among the tribes of Israel, the prophet Ezekiel even states that a specific portion of land will be set aside for King David, Israel’s “prince” [ruler], Ezekiel 45:7-8.
Even more confirmation of this truth is found in Hosea 3:4-5 where the Scriptures explicitly state, “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:
Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.” Every serious Bible student knows
that the Jewish people have been without a king from among their own people for the past 2,600 years. The Jews returned to their land as a nation in 1948-49, and many of them have sought and are seeking the Lord, exactly as prophesied in this passage in Hosea. But Israel still does not have a
king as their ruler. Like most of the other nations of the world, when they returned to their land they established a so-called “democratic” form of government. It has proven to be a dismal failure! This prophecy in Hosea 3:4-5 along with the passages in Ezekiel are quite clear that King David will be their future king. If any reader wants to argue about this, go argue with the Lord. Time is extremely short, and I have no time to waste arguing with anyone who chooses to deny the plain statements of the inspired Word. Is this stated clearly enough?
There are many other Scripture passages in God’s Word that also shed light on the Davidic Covenant. I don’t have the time or space to discuss every one of them in this study. What I can tell my readers is that the resurrection of Old Covenant believers will occur either right at or in close proximity to the middle of the Tribulation period, Daniel 11:45 – 12:1-2. Old Covenant believers will be resurrected back to life in their natural bodies, but without any “sin nature,” Joel 3:20-21; Zephaniah 3:13; Isaiah 60:21; Jeremiah 31:33-34; Hebrews 8:10-12. They will not be raptured! Their resurrection will include King David himself, who will immediately become King over the nation and people of Israel and lead the Jewish people to safety in Petra as they flee from the wrath of Satan and the Antichrist, Matthew 24:15-21; Revelation 12:6; 12:14-16. Glory to God!
That King David will be king over Israel during the last half of the Tribulation period is set forth in Psalm 89:20-22 where the Scripture explicitly states of David, “The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness [Antichrist] afflict him.” King David is mentioned four times by name in the 89th Psalm. That King David is with the Jewish people in Petra during the last half of the Tribulation is obvious, for Micah 2:12-13 sets forth a prophecy about the Lord assembling the Jewish people in Petra at that time and then leading them out of Petra at the end of the Tribulation. It is explicitly stated in Micah 2:13, “The breaker is come up before them; they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.” This makes a clear distinction between “the Lord” who goes before them as they leave Petra, and “their king” who follows the Lord and leads the people. Who could this “king” over the Jews in Petra be other than King David exactly as prophesied?
We then have abundant Scriptural proof that King David will reign over cleansed, purified, redeemed, and restored Israel and the Jewish people in the land the Lord promised them throughout all of “the ages to come.” Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
GOD’S NEW COVENANT WITH MANKIND…….This covenant was first prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and all of its terms and conditions are set forth in this passage, and in Hebrews 8:6-13, 10:1-18 and throughout the New Testament. It was first made with the Jewish disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, thereby fulfilling to the letter the prophecy that it was to be made “with the house of Israel,” [Jeremiah 31:31-34] but also made provision for all true New Testament Gentile believers to come to the Lord Jesus Christ by “grace through faith,” Ephesians 2:8-9. Glory to God!
The Lord Jesus Christ began setting forth the terms and conditions of the “new covenant” right at the beginning of His personal ministry, and continued to set them forth until just before the end of His personal ministry. The night before He was crucified the Lord met with His Jewish disciples to observe the Passover supper. After the Passover supper the Lord God made the “new covenant” with His Jewish disciples. In other words, the Lord God made the covenant with “the Israel of God,” Romans 11:1-7; Galatians 6:15-16. Check it out for yourself, Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Then the next morning the Lord was crucified on Calvary’s old rugged cross, offering Himself as a “blood sacrifice” to pay the sin debt of
the Jewish people and of the whole human race, thereby putting the “new covenant” into effect by sealing it with His own precious blood, Colossians 2:13-15. Oh glory to God! Hallelujah! Thank You Lord Jesus! Praise to Your Holy Name!
Don’t fail to notice that as Christ began preaching and teaching during His personal ministry He was setting forth in the “new covenant” the “changes” lacking in the Old Covenant [Hebrews 7:11-19] which were needed to not only redeem the believing Jewish people, but also to redeem the believing Gentiles and restore the entire Kingdom to redeemed mankind which Adam had lost in his fall. This became clear to the Lord’s disciples who had “seeing eyes” and “hearing ears,” Matthew 13:10-17. See such passages as Matthew 5:21-22, 5:27-28, 5:31-32, 5:33-35, 5:38-39, and 5:43-45 as examples. In each of these New Testament passages [and others] the Lord was probing the hearts and minds of the Jewish people as He set forth the real spiritual truth behind the Law which the hard hearted Jews considered “unalterable” and “inflexible.” Yet in setting forth the “new covenant” the Lord Jesus Christ made provision for both Jews and Gentiles to be saved and have the Law of God written in their hearts and minds through “faith,” John 3:1-7; 3:16-18; 3:36; 5:24; 14:6; 14:21-23; Romans 10:8-13; Ephesians 2:8-10. Glory to God! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!
The New Covenant Believer’s Present State
The inspired Word of God explicitly states that it was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who introduced and established the “new covenant,” Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:23-24; Luke 22;20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25. The Lord did so by setting forth the terms and conditions of the “new covenant” right from the very beginning of His personal ministry, Matthew 4;12; 4:17; Mark 1:14-15; John 2:13-25; 3:1-8.
At the very beginning of the Lord’s personal ministry, the Lord told Nicodemus that “a man” [mankind…man or woman] who wants to “see” or “enter” the kingdom of God “must be born again” [gennao anothen…”born from above”], John 3:1-8. So right at the beginning of His personal ministry the Lord Jesus through the “new birth” began the process of “creating” a new species or “kind” of human being, thereby making a new beginning for fallen mankind, James 1:18.
Notice that this passage in James 1:18 explicitly states, “Of His own will begat [born; brought to birth] He us…” In other words, we “new covenant” believers have been “born of God,” John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:23. Notice that this Scripture also expressly states that we are “a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” We are not the last, nor anything in between the first and the last. We are explicitly stated to be the “firstfruits,” signifying a whole new beginning with mankind. What Adam lost, we “new covenant” believers [Jew or Gentile] regain in Christ Jesus, our risen Lord. Praise His Holy Name!
In setting forth this subject there are three Scriptural truths which I want to set before our readers for your serious consideration and study…….
- Being “born again” [born from above] is totally a New Testament [covenant] truth. There is
no mention in the Old Testament of any believer ever being “born again.” Period! Yes, there were repentant sinners saved “by faith” in the coming promised Messiah under the Old Covenant, but not one of them was ever said to have been “born again.” None! The “new birth” is totally a New Testament teaching first set forth by Christ Himself at the beginning of His personal ministry, and was to be experienced only by repentant “new covenant” believers whether Jew or Gentile.
- The New Testament clearly states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature
[creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17. See also Galatians 6:15, Ephesians 4:24, and Colossians 3:10. There is no mention in the Old Testament of any Old Covenant believer being created “a new creation” in Christ Jesus. None! This is again a New Testament truth only entered into by New Covenant believers at the time we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our own personal Savior.
- The Scriptures explicitly state that New Covenant believers have been made “partakers of
the divine nature,” 2 Peter 1:1-4. This actually and literally means that through the “new birth”we who are New Covenant believers have received the nature of the Lord God Himself who gave us the “new birth,” and are therefore actually and spiritually related to God, John 3:3-8. This is why the Scriptures explicitly state that we New Covenant believers have “the mind of Christ” [1 Corinthians 2:11-16], and are referred to in the New Testament as “the sons of God,” Romans 8:11-15. Such is never said of any Old Covenant believer anywhere in the Old Testament Scriptures.
But no reader should get carried away with this knowledge and begin boasting [like the Mormon cult teaches their followers]. The inspired Word makes it clear that presently we New Covenant believers still have “this treasure in earthen vessels [our fleshly body], that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us,” 2 Corinthians 4:6-7. In other words, we New Covenant believers presently still have a “sin nature” in our flesh [Romans 7:18] which suppresses “the mind of Christ” and veils “the divine nature” within us. This forces every true believer to look to and rely on our precious Lord for His wisdom and knowledge and strength and power and leadership in living our daily lives for His glory, John 15:5. Never forget that 1 Peter 5:5-6 is still in the Bible! This is also why the Scriptures explicitly state, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation [unveiling] of the sons of God,” Romans 8:18-19. Glory to God!
- The only living beings in the entire Word of God ever referred to as “sons of God” are 
the angels and  New Covenant believers. This is because both the angels and New Covenant believers are created beings. The man or woman “born of nature” is not a created being, but rather is born into the world through the act of procreation on the part of their parents who descended from Adam and Eve. When a truly repentant sinner during this present “dispensation of grace” then believes and calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, they are “born again” of the Spirit of God [John 3:6-8] and “created” a “new creation” in Christ Jesus making them a “son of God,” Romans 8:14-17. Such did not occur when a repentant sinner believed and was saved under the Old Covenant. In relation to salvation only New Covenant believers are ever referred to in the Scriptures as “sons of God.”
If any reader has never considered these truths previously, I urge a diligent study of this subject. We true believers are explicitly commanded to “rightly divide the Word of truth” [2 Timothy 2:15] and “Prove all things…,” 1 Thessalonians 5:21. We who are truly saved today can conclude that genuine New Covenant believers are presently “born again” of the Holy Spirit of God, are “new creatures” in Christ Jesus, and are “sons of God.” However, keep in mind that the lost world does not see us this way, for our true spiritual state is not presently visible, neither to us nor to the unsaved world around us. Just like the Lord Jesus dwelt in a body of flesh before His resurrection, so we true believers today are likewise dwelling in a body of flesh. The inspired Word explicitly states that the whole creation today is “waiting for the manifestation [unveiling] of the sons of God,” Romans 8:19. This “unveiling” will take place at the time of the resurrection and rapture of all true New Covenant believers, Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Glory! Glory to God! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah to the Lord Jesus!
The New Covenant Believer’s Future State
Some readers may wonder why the Lord would create a “new species” of mankind? If the answer has not already become clear to our readers, then let’s examine what the Lord God has purposed to do with mankind in “the ages to come”…….
The Lord God has determined that every human being who has ever lived and died will be resurrected. However, all will not be resurrected at the same time, nor will all have the same
same destiny. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself explicitly stated that there will be two resurrections, the “resurrection of life” and the “resurrection of damnation,” John 5:28-29. All of the “theological theories” and arguments in the world will not change this statement of the Lord God to bring about one great “general resurrection,” as some teach today. Such a “varmint” is not be found in the Scriptures. Period! The Lord’s statement will stand when all of the silly “theological theories” of men have vanished forever. There will be two separate resurrections, exactly as the Lord stated, one for the saved and one for the unsaved whether some like it or not.
Also, the two separate resurrections do not occur at the same time or even in close proximity to one another. The two separate resurrections are separated by a minimum of at least 1,000 years, and such is explicitly stated in Revelation 20:1-5.
I have emphasized this clarification in order that our readers might clearly understand the distinction between the two resurrections. Since “the resurrection of damnation” [for unbelievers] is not the subject I want to emphasize in this study, I will now focus on the resurrection of New Covenant believers; “the first resurrection,” Revelation 20:1-6.
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
I will begin by pointing out that in “the first resurrection” all New Covenant believers are not resurrected at the same time, yet they are all still a part of “the first resurrection.” If this seems strange to some readers who have never seriously studied the resurrection, it is easily explained by pointing out that the inspired Word explicitly states that there is an “order” to “the first resurrection.” “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming,” 1 Corinthians 15:22-23. The word translated as “order” in this passage is the Greek word, “tagma.” This Greek word is a military term used in ancient times by the Grecian armies and later by the Roman Legions. In other words, “the first resurrection” will take place over a period of time according to the rank or company to which each New Covenant believer belongs.
For instance, in the Greek text 1 Corinthians 15:20 literally reads, “But now Christ has been raised [ek] from among the dead, first-fruit of those fallen asleep He became.” See Dr. Berry’s Greek Interlinear New Testament [Textus Receptus]. It is obvious that all of the dead did not rise when Christ arose. Only the Lord was raised out from among the dead. Christ arose and the rest of the dead stayed in their graves. This alone obviously shows a rank or “order” to “the first resurrection,” with Christ Himself being the Commanding Officer who first came out from among the dead to lead His “sons” to glory, Romans 8:14. That the Lord God is the Commander of our resurrection is clearly set forth in John 11:25-26 and Hebrews 2:9-10. Glory!
Now, for the benefit of our readers who have never seriously studied the “order” of “the first resurrection” as set forth in the Scriptures, here is the Scriptural “order”…….
1. The Lord Jesus Christ was “the first begotten [ek…out from among] from the dead,” Acts
26:23; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5. The Lord Jesus Christ was unique in that He was the very first person raised from the dead never to die anymore. Yes, I am well aware that there were dead people restored to life in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, but every one of those people lived for a time and then died again. On the other hand, the Lord Jesus Christ was the Head or “Beginning” of a new “kind” [race; species] of man, James 1:18. The Lord came forth out from among the dead with an immortal “glorified body” no longer subject to death, Romans 6:9; Revelation 1:18. Glory to God!
Today every true believer knows that the Lord Jesus Christ in His incarnation was “God in the flesh” and the “Son of God.” But most believers in their zeal to uphold the “diety” of the Lord
commonly overlook the fact that at His coming into the world He was not regarded as the “Son of God” by the Jewish people or the Gentile Romans living among the Jewish people. Rather, the Jewish people living at that time knew that Christ had been born of Mary, and therefore they assumed that He was the son of Joseph, Matthew 13:54-57; Mark 6:2-3; Luke 4:22; John 6:41-42. When they looked at the Lord Jesus as He lived and walked among them all they saw was “a man.” The Jews who lived in Nazareth had watched this “man” grow up among them from childhood to manhood. Therefore they simply regarded Him as just another “man.” The Lord God is referred to 84 times in the four Gospels as “the Son of man,” an allusion to His humanity received from His mother, Mary. It was because the Jews knew Him only as “a man” at His first coming that it was so hard for them to believe that He was “the Son of God.”
It should be obvious that preceding His resurrection only a small “remnant believed His teachings, followed Him, and came to know that He was indeed the promised Messiah of Israel, the Savior, and “the Son of God,” Matthew 14:33; 16:15-17; John 1:31-34; 1:47-49; 11:25-27. It is also evident that Christ Himself wanted it that way, for on occasion He rebuked the demons who cried out identifying Him as “the Son of God,” Mark 1:34; 3:11-12; Luke 4:33-35; 4:41; James 2:19. Why did the Lord want it that way? Because the Lord God wanted people to come to Him “by faith” [spiritual], rather than by any human recognition [natural] of His true position as “the Son of God.”
But three days after His crucifixion His position changed forever! Why? Because He was resurrected out from among the dead, coming forth with an immortal “glorified” body as “the firstborn from the dead” and “the firstborn among many brethren,” Colossians 1:18; Romans 8:29. This passage in Romans sets Christ forth as the “first” or Head of a whole new “kind” [race; species] of redeemed man referred to in the New Testament as “the sons of God,” Romans 8:14-19; James 1:18; Hebrews 2:10.
In further verification of this truth it is clearly stated of the resurrection of Christ, “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulcher. But God raised Him [ek…out from among] from the dead: And He was seen many days of them which came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee,” Acts 13:29-33; Psalm 2:7; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5.
What this actually tells the true believer is that while Christ was “the Son of God” in His humanity, yet His human flesh temporarily “veiled” His “diety” from the unbelieving world. Compare the type of Christ in Exodus 34:29-35. The day Christ was resurrected from the dead with an immortal “glorified” body was the day that the “veil” was removed from Him and the Heavenly Father Himself acknowledged Him as “My Son” that very day. On that day the Heavenly Father was acknowledging Christ as the “first begotten” of a new “kind” [race; species] of redeemed mankind who should be known as “the sons of God.”
This expression, “sons of God,” as set forth in the New Testament refers to “new covenant” believers! Just like Christ before His resurrection, we “new covenant” believers are presently “veiled” by our fleshly bodies, however the Scriptures explicitly state that “the whole creation” is waiting “for the manifestation [unveiling] of the sons of God,” Romans 8:19; 8:22-23. Wow! Glory to God! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! What a “blessed hope,” Titus 2:11-15.
Thus the “first resurrection” began some 2,000 years ago with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Keep in mind that the inspired Word explicitly says, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [raise up; make immortal] your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you,” Romans 8:11. Praise the Lord! Glory to God! Thank You Lord Jesus!
2. The second “order” in “the first resurrection” is set forth in Matthew 27:52-53, “And the
graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” This obviously occurred within minutes [?] or hours [?] after the resurrection of Christ. These “saints” are the “first fruits” of the “first resurrection” which Christ took with Him into glory that Sunday morning following His own resurrection.
Every serious student of the Scriptures knows that the Jewish observance of “first fruits” comes on “the morrow after the Sabbath” following Passover, Leviticus 23:9-14. On that Sunday morning the Jewish priest entered the Temple with a “sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest,” lifted it up above his head and “waved” it before the Lord. The lifting up of the sheaf between earth and Heaven and waving the sheaf before the Lord typified the resurrection of Christ and the “first fruit” saints. “And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it,” Leviticus 23:11.
By carefully comparing the accounts of the resurrection of Christ, and of the “saints…..which came out of their graves after His resurrection,” it appears that on that Sunday morning at the exact same time the Jewish priest was “waving” the sheaf in the Temple, the Lord Jesus Christ and the “first fruit” saints were in Heaven before the throne of God being accepted as the “first fruits” of the resurrection harvest on behalf of all true New Covenant believers. Since the precious blood of our risen Christ and the “first fruits” of the “first resurrection” harvest were accepted by our Heavenly Father some 2,000 years ago, this should give every true believer assurance that the remainder of the “first resurrection” harvest will be gathered in at God’s appointed times. Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-44. Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!
3. The third “order” in the “first resurrection” is the main “harvest” of all true New Covenant
believers, which will occur at the time of the rapture, 1 Corinthians 15:50-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10.
I am well aware that some “professing Christians” today do not believe in a Pre-tribulation rapture. Their unbelief will not keep it from happening! It was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who explicitly stated in Revelation 3:10 that He would keep His New Covenant church(es) “from the hour of temptation [peirasmos]; which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Dear readers, I have been in the Lord’s ministry for 57 years, and in all of these past years I never did learn the “fine art” [???] of making Christ Himself out to be a liar by denying the very words which proceeded out of His own mouth. Any serious study of the Greek word, “peirasmos” which is translated as “temptation” in Revelation 3:10 will reveal that the “peirasmos” refers to the first half of the seven year Tribulation, and that every true New Covenant believer will indeed be kept from that time, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 5:8-9. Period!
Now look at the word “hour” in this same passage. Compare this “hour” with Revelation 14:7. It becomes glaringly obvious that from God’s viewpoint of human history, the Lord God Himself considers the seven year Tribulation to be only two hours in length. The first half of the Tribulation is “the hour of temptation” [peirasmos]. The second half of the Tribulation is “the hour of His judgment” [krisis], 14:7. The fact that the Lord promised His church(es) that He will keep them “from the hour of temptation” [peirasmos]; the first half of the Tribulation, sets forth Scriptural proof that no true New Covenant believer will ever enter into any part of the Tribulation. None of it! Not one minute of it!
I have two complete Bible studies in print on “Peirasmos” and “The Two Hours.” I will be glad to send these studies to any reader upon request. Or if desired, I will send my entire series of studies on “The Pre-tribulation Rapture.” Each study in the series sets forth Scriptural proof of the Pre-tribulation rapture of true New Covenant believers. If you are a true believer, do not allow any man to steal your “blessed hope,” Titus 2:11-15.
When this great Pre-tribulation resurrection and rapture “harvest” occurs every New Covenant believer’s body will be “changed,” [1 Corinthians 15:51-52] “that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself,” Philippians 3:21. Glory! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
I could write an entire Bible study [or book] on this “change” alone, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to do so. Note just these few points and let them motivate our readers to a deeper study of the “change” we New Covenant believers shall experience when the resurrection and rapture occurs…….
We shall be made like Christ! Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2.
We shall be “caught up” to New Jerusalem where Christ sits at the right hand of the Heavenly Father. John 14:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
We shall be “unveiled” to the whole creation as “the sons of God.” Romans 8:18-23.
We shall be neither Jews nor Gentiles, neither bond slaves nor free [totally independent], neither male nor female, but rather a totally new “creation” of man. James 1;18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:10-11.
We shall have “the mind of Christ” no longer “veiled” and suppressed by the flesh. 1 Corinthians 2:16.
We shall bear the “image of Christ” rather than the image of the flesh, Romans 8:29-30; 1 Corinthians 15:49; 2 Corinthians 3:18.
We shall return to the days of our youth [the prime of life]. Job 33:23-26.
We shall never know sickness, old age, or infirmity again. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.
We shall be equal to the angels of God. Luke 20:34-36.
We shall be ministered to by the angels of God. Hebrews 1:13-14.
We shall inherit all of the things God has prepared for us as “sons of God” and “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.” Romans 8:14-17; 1 Corinthians 2:9.
We shall rule and reign with Christ over “the world to come.” Hebrews 2:5-8.
We shall be “kings and priests” throughout all of “the ages to come.” Revelation 1:5-6.
We shall go back and forth between the earth, where we will reign as kings over the nations with Christ, and New Jerusalem above the earth which will be our eternal home. Revelation 21:2; 21:24-26.
This list just barely scratches the surface of what the Lord has prepared for us, but these few points should thrill the hearts of every true New Covenant believer. If they fail to do so, perhaps the reader should carefully study 2 Corinthians 13:5 and 2 Peter 1:10 again and do some serious heart searching. Only true believers will enter into and experience these glorious promises of God “in the ages to come.” Those who are lost in sin will miss it all, and a vain “religious profession” won’t help a bit, Matthew 7:21-23. Let every reader take heed!
4. The next or fourth “order” in the “first resurrection” which follows the main harvest will be
the “gleanings” of the harvest during the Tribulation period. These “gleanings” will begin with the resurrection and rapture of God’s “two witnesses” [Revelation 11:11-12] and may [??] include the 144,000 Jewish evangelists. Compare Revelation 14:1-3 with Psalm 79:1-3.
It is also during the Tribulation that Old Covenant believers will be resurrected, however Old Covenant believers will not be caught up [raptured] to glory. Rather, Old Covenant believers will be restored to natural life with their “sin nature” being totally removed, Daniel 11:45 – 12:1-2; Joel 3:20-21; Zephaniah 3:13. In other words, they will be restored to natural life in the same state of innocence that Adam and Eve were in before the fall. The restoration of Old Covenant believers to natural life in such a state of innocence will enable them to inherit the earth exactly as first promised to Adam, and then later promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David in each of the covenants the Lord God made with them, Psalm 105:6-11; Micah 4:1-8; Zechariah
8:11-12; Isaiah 60:21. Glory to God! Praise the Lord!
Those readers who have not studied these truths may want to read my studies entitled “The Covenants and the Dead in Christ” and “Two Peoples Forever.” Just request them!
5. Finally, the fifth and final “order” in the “first resurrection” will be the resurrection of
those believers who are saved during the seven year Tribulation, Revelation 20:4. The Scriptures make it quite clear that millions of people are going to turn to Christ under the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists during the first half of the Tribulation, Revelation 7:1-17.
All true believers today would like to see a great revival sweep over the whole earth. Some today offer Joel 2:28-32 as supposed “proof” that such a revival is going to occur before the rapture. Is that so? There is still such a thing as “rightly dividing the Word of truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15. The prophecy in Joel 2:28-32 will indeed be fulfilled, but not during this present dispensation. It will be fulfilled during the first half of the Tribulation as the 144,000 saved and sealed Jewish evangelists
carry the gospel of Christ to every place on this earth where there will be one living person to hear it [Matthew 24:14], and millions of people out “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” will turn to Christ for salvation, Revelation 7:9-14.
Sadly, a serious study of Revelation 4 – 19 reveals that every person who is saved during the Tribulation will be put to death by the Antichrist and his wicked followers, Revelation 6:8-11; 9:15; 9:18; 9:20-21; 11:7-10; 12;13; 12:17; 13:7; 13;10; 13:15; 14:12-13; 15:2; 16:5-6; 17:6; 18;20; 18:24; 19:1-2; 20:4. These “professing Christians” today who are so “gung ho” about going through the Tribulation in order to “be purified” and “prove their love” [???] for the Lord Jesus Christ and their “worthiness” [???] to be taken to Heaven, ought to get serious about studying the Word and learning how to “rightly divide” it. There is NOTHING desirable about going through the Tribulation period! Nothing!
“Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! [the Tribulation] to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light…….Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it,” Amos 5:18-20.
If some today really want to “prove their love” for the Lord, then they need to quit depending upon their own works and righteousness [Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:9-18] for salvation and stop teaching the blasphemous doctrine of “salvation by works.” True believers are saved “by grace …….through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5. The salvation of every soul is by “faith” in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the precious “blood of Christ” [plus nothing] which washes away the sin of the truly repentant believer, Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:12-14; Hebrews 9:11-14; 9:22-28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5. These “Christians” [??] today who are so eager to go through the Tribulation need to realize that entering into the Tribulation will not make them one whit more “pure” or “worthy” than they have already been made by the precious blood of Christ, if they really are true believers. And if they really are not “true believers,” but only lost “religionists,” going into the Tribulation will not buy them a drop of water in hell. If any reader is depending on anything other than the precious blood of Jesus Christ for salvation, then they don’t have salvation! May the Lord have mercy! Wake up to truth!
It is explicitly stated in Revelation 20:4, “…..and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus [Revelation 6:9-11; 14:13], and for the Word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived [resurrected; restored to life] and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Right here John saw the martyred souls of those saved during the Tribulation enter into their immortal “glorified” bodies to live and reign with Christ. The resurrection of the last of these “gleanings” of the Tribulation will complete all five “orders” of the “first resurrection” harvest of
New Covenant believers.
Revelation 20:5 then says, “This is the first resurrection.” In other words, it is over, finished, completed, done! The “creation” of a new “kind” of redeemed man apparently ceases at that time. There is no indication in the Scriptures that anyone will ever receive an immortal “glorified” body again from that time forth. I am not being dogmatic on this point and am wide open to further Scriptural enlightenment.
Now notice that Revelation 20:6 explicitly states, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and
of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” How could it be stated any plainer? The “first resurrection” began with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It then continued through each “order” as pointed out in this study. Each “order” of the “first resurrection” is made up of New Covenant believers. It is New Covenant believers who are being “created” in Christ Jesus
as a new “kind” [race; species] of mankind for the specific purpose of ruling and reigning with Christ over His Millennial Kingdom, and then within the eternal Kingdom of God as “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ,” Romans 8:14-17. Such is confirmed right here in this inspired Scripture. Glory to God! Praise the Lord!
We can then conclude that all New Covenant believers are to be resurrected as “sons of God” [Romans 8:19-23] with immortal “glorified’ bodies like the glorious body of our Lord [Philippians 3:20-21] in order to rule and reign as “kings and priests” [Revelation 1:5-6; 5:8-10] with the Lord Jesus Christ over His glorious kingdom. Numerous prophetic Scriptures reveal that the Lord’s kingdom will not be for just “a thousand years,” but rather will be an “everlasting” kingdom, Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 2:44; 7:13-14; 7:18; 7:27; Ezekiel 43:7; 43:9. Praise the Lord!
THE AGES TO COME…….
There are many Scriptural details which I could discuss in each of the time periods I have set before our readers, but most of these details have already been covered in previous studies in “The Ages to Come” series. Those readers who want to study these details in more depth may want to order this series of studies.
Now I am going to set forth the major events listed in the prophetic Scriptures which will bring this present age to an end, while ushering in the glories of “the ages to come.” May the Lord God give every reader grace, enlightenment, and spiritual discernment is my prayer…….
THE JUDGMENT OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE…….The beginning of the Tribulation period is the beginning of “the ages to come” for the New Covenant believer.
However, for Israel and the Jewish people it is the last seven years of Old Covenant Law! Many true believers today totally miss the fact that when Daniel was given the prophecy of the 70 Weeks the Jewish people were living under the Old Covenant of Law, Daniel 9:24-27. On the exact day the Lord Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem and was proclaimed the “King of Israel” by His disciples, the first 69 weeks [483 years] of the 70 Weeks prophecy ended, Matthew 21:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-16; Zechariah 9:9. Four days later, exactly as stated in Daniel 9:26, Christ was “cut off” and the “dispensation of grace” under the New Covenant intervened. This obviously leaves seven years of Law [the 70th Week] yet to be fulfilled by Israel. There is no question that this is why the Lord Jesus explicitly stated, “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill,” Matthew 5:17. The Old Covenant of Law will not be removed from Israel until the final 7 years are fulfilled.
These final 7 years of Law are also the “appointed time” for The Judgment of the Jewish people, exactly as prophesied over and over again in many Old Testament Scriptures. The Lord God has a
long memory! The Jewish people apparently don’t! Neither do many of God’s people living today! The Lord God has not forgotten through all these centuries the crowning insult the Jews showed
towards Him in making and worshiping “the golden calf.” Read Exodus 32:34-35 and notice carefully what the Lord said to Moses. The Lord God temporarily accepted Moses plea to spare the
people, but plainly told Moses that a time would come when He would “visit their sin upon them.” Read the passage for yourself and wake up to truth! Because the Jews as a nation and people rejected God’s Son and crucified Him, they still have to face judgment for the sin of the “golden calf.” This truth may “blow the minds” of some of our readers, but even the judicial systems of the nations of mankind have recognized and acknowledged and even ruled that “A Pardon is not a pardon unless it is willingly received by the person or persons being pardoned!” This is exactly why some people are saved and others will remain eternally lost, even though Christ paid the sin debt for the whole human race. Unless one receives the “pardon” Christ obtained for them, by “grace through faith” they will never be saved, Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5.
Israel as a nation and people have stubbornly and obstinately rejected the “pardon” [Colossians 2:14; Deuteronomy 18:18-19; Isaiah 55:7;] which the Lord Jesus Christ obtained for them [and for all mankind] at Calvary. The unbelieving Jewish people have refused to this day to even acknowledge any guilt in their rejection and crucifying of Christ. Right here read Hosea 5:15 and see what the Lord God Himself has to say about this matter in the Jewish Scriptures, and wake up to truth! Therefore unbelieving Israel and the Jewish people are still under the Old Covenant of Law for seven more years [1 Week] and have a “divine appointment” to face “Judgment” for that blasphemous sin against the Lord God with “the golden calf” as well as their rejection and crucifixion of their own God anointed Messiah and Savior. Have these sins been called to their attention previously? Yes! Thousands of times over the past 2,000 years. Now turn and read Hebrew 10:26-31. Their own Jewish Scriptures explicitly remind the Jewish people, “Be sure your sin will find you out,” Numbers 32:23.
The inspired prophecies are quite plain that during the last half of the Tribulation every living Jew on earth will be physically removed from whatever nation they are presently “sojourning” in and will be bodily transported into “the wilderness” near the ancient city of Petra in modern Jordan, Ezekiel 20:33-38. Not one Jew will be left in any Gentile country on earth, Ezekiel 39:25-29 [note especially verse 28]. For further verification of this truth, read Isaiah 11:11-12, 27:13, 43:5-6, Jeremiah 23:3, 29:13-14, 32:37, Ezekiel 11:17, 34:13, 36:24, 37:21, Micah 2:12, Matthew 24:15-21, 24:31, Mark 13:27, Revelation 12:6, and 12:14.
In Ezekiel 20:34 it is explicitly stated that the Jews will be brought out “from the peoples” and gathered “out of the countries wherein ye are scattered….” Then 20:35 explicitly states, “And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead with you face to face.” This is the same wilderness that the children of Israel wandered in 3,500 years ago when they came out of the land of Egypt. But 20:38 really puts “the clincher” on this truth, when the Lord says, “And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” The truth being set forth here is that these “rebels” and “transgressors” among the Jewish people will be brought back from all over the world into the same wilderness that the children of Israel wandered in some 3,500 years ago, and there they will “leave their carcasses in the wilderness” because of their wicked unbelief, exactly as their unbelieving forefathers left “their carcasses in the wilderness” some 3,500 years ago. Now read again Solomon’s statement in Ecclesiastes 1:9 and marvel over the glory and majesty and wisdom and greatness and power of the Lord God of Israel. Wow! Praise the Lord! Glory to God!
Ultimately a Jewish “remnant” will turn to and believe on the Lord God with their whole heart and be saved, Zechariah 12:10; 13:6; 13:8-9; Romans 9:27. When “the remnant” does turn to the
Lord in faith, then the Lord God will make a “new covenant” with the Jewish people, Isaiah 55:3; Jeremiah 29:13-14; 31:31-34; 32:37-41; Ezekiel 11:17-20; 36:24-28; Hebrews 8:8-13; 10:16-17. No longer will the redeemed Jewish people place their trust in the Torah [Law] written in Tables of
Stone, but rather they will trust in the Lord their God and follow His Law “written in the fleshly tables of their hearts” by His Holy Spirit. Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Then the redeemed Jewish people, living in their natural bodies, will enter into the “inheritance” promised to them through God’s Covenant with Abraham nearly 4,000 years ago, and will live on the earth as a people before the Lord “for ever,” 2 Samuel 7:23-24; 1 Chronicles 17:21-22; Ezekiel 43:7; 43:9. Do any of these Scriptures [and many others I could reference] sound like redeemed Israel is ever going to cease being a people before the Lord “for ever”? Every reader willing to deal honestly with God’s Word knows the answer! Think about it!
THE JUDGMENT OF THE GENTILES…….The Tribulation is also the “appointed time” [Acts 17:26] for God’s judgment of ALL of the incorrigible wicked living on the earth, Acts 17:30-31; Romans 2:16. During the Tribulation the Lord will take vengeance upon the wicked Gentiles [Romans 12:19] for their own rebellion and rejection of the Lord, and for every wicked thought, word, and deed they have committed against the Lord’s people, whether His Jewish people or His Gentile “Christian” people, Hebrews 10:30-31; Genesis 12:3. By the end of the Tribulation, and following the “Judgment of the Gentiles” [Matthew 25:31-46], there will not be one incorrigible lost person left alive on the face of the entire earth. They will ALL have been destroyed from off the earth, Psalm 37:1-2; 37:8-10; 37:14-15; 37:35-36; 37:38; Malachi 4:1-3. The earth will then and only then become a fit place for the redeemed people of God to live and serve the Lord in righteousness, Godliness, and true holiness. Remember that the Lord Himself said, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man,” Luke 17:26. When Noah and his family walked out of the Ark on to the “new earth” after the flood, there was not a lost person left alive on the face of the earth! Read Ecclesiastes 3:15.
Just as the Jewish people are separated during the Tribulation, with only the redeemed Jewish people surviving the Tribulation, so there will also be a separation which will occur between the Gentiles who survive the Tribulation. The Lord Himself explicitly states twice in the Scriptures that all mankind still alive upon the earth at that time will see His glorious return to the earth as He comes with all His holy angels, Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7. See also Matthew 16:27, Mark 13:26, and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.
There is a contrast set forth here that many of God’s people appear to have missed. The coming of the Lord to resurrect and rapture His New Covenant believers to glory will occur SUDDENLY, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. But the coming of the Lord at the end of the Tribulation [Revelation 19:11-21] will be slowly displayed across the heavens above the earth so that those still alive on the earth can see the Lord coming well before He and all His angelic hosts arrive. What a glorious and terrifying sight that will be for those alive on the earth at that time! There is no doubt that many Gentiles will then turn to the Lord in repentance and faith and cry out to Him for mercy and salvation even as they see Him coming in the heavens. Glory!
We KNOW that there will be “a remnant” of the Gentiles in their natural bodies saved at or near the end of the Tribulation by studying the “Judgment of the Gentiles” as recorded in Matthew 25:31-46. The same Greek word [ethnos] translated as “nations” in Matthew 25:32 is also translated as “Gentiles” and “heathen” in numerous other places in the New Testament. Check it out for yourself, Strong’s No. 1484. The so-called “Judgment of the Nations” in Matthew 25:31-46 is actually a judgment of the individual Gentile survivors of the Tribulation. Notice that the Lord Himself divides them into “sheep” and “goats.” These are symbolic terms used numerous times in God’s Word to differentiate between those who are saved and those who are lost. At the conclusion of the judgment, the “goats” are cast “into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, [25:41], but the “sheep” enter into and “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” 25:34. It is these saved Gentiles of various nationalities who will then repopulate the earth during the Millennial Kingdom, filling the earth with [Godly and righteous] nations once again. Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
OUR PRECIOUS “KINSMAN REDEEMER”…….But how could the redeemed survivors of the Tribulation [both Jews and Gentiles] repopulate the earth, and establish a wholly righteous kingdom on the earth, unless that which Adam lost by his disobedience has been redeemed out of the possession of Satan and has passed back into the possession of mankind? Oh, glory to God! I’m so glad you asked!
The Law of God has existed from eternity past. Almighty God did not begin the creation of the Universe by gradually working out the immutable laws by which it was all created as He went along, trying this and that to see if it would work. Fallen mankind may do these “hit and miss” experiments, but the immutable laws of Almighty God were already in place in eternity past, Proverbs 8:22-32. I would suggest that our readers carefully study the first nine chapters of the Book of Proverbs, paying special attention to every statement made by and about “Wisdom.”
Yes, I am laboring this point about the Law of God, because I am quite sure that the Law of Redemption for the Land [Leviticus 25 and other passages] was not an afterthought when the Lord God gave His Covenant of Law to Israel.
When the land was divided among the tribes of Israel every man in Israel received a possession of land. By the Law of God that land was never to be sold out of the possession of the man or his heirs. But in the event of poverty or calamity or for whatever reason, the land could be “leased” out until the year of Jubilee. But before the year of Jubilee the land could also be “redeemed,” but only by the original owner or one of his heirs who was a “kinsman.”
Well this is exactly what happened at the very dawn of human history! When Adam disobeyed the Lord, he lost man’s dominion over “the earth” and “every living thing that moveth upon the earth,” Genesis 1:28. Everything that the Lord God had originally given to man in the Adamic Covenant passed into the possession of Satan. That wicked “fallen angel” has held sway over it for the past 6,000 years.
But some 2,000 years ago our precious “Kinsman Redeemer” left Heaven and was born as a “man” in Bethlehem, Luke 2:1-40; 2 Corinthians 8:9. He was born without a “sin nature” because His Father was the Holy Spirit of God, yet He was true human because His mother was Mary, the virtuous virgin of Nazareth, Luke 1:26-38. The “sin nature” is passed through the blood stream of man by the father, Romans 5:12. The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world as “man;” “the second Adam” [1 Corinthians 15:45-47], in order to “redeem” everything the first Adam lost by his disobedience, and to pay the sin debt of all humanity, Isaiah 53:1-6. Glory to God! Hallelujah!
[ Now I want to take our readers back to the time of our Lord’s arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Watch with me as our precious “Kinsman Redeemer” suffers the insults, blows, and beatings laid upon Him before He is nailed to the cross. Watch the Roman soldiers as they weave “a crown of thorns” and place it on His head, Matthew 27:29. These “thorns” were picked from among those that the earth begin to bring forth after Adam had disobeyed the Lord and brought the curse of sin upon the whole earth, Genesis 3:17-19. Watch now as our precious Lord Jesus is stripped naked and “a scarlet robe” [a robe worn by a king] is placed on Him, Matthew 27:28-30. Watch as the Roman soldiers bow their knees before Him and mock Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews,” 27:29.
Watch as they take the reed [scepter] out of His hand and “smote Him on the head,” 27:30. Oh, feel the very agony and pain as that reed drives the “crown of thorns” deep into His flesh on and around the top of His head. Then watch as they strip the scarlet robe off of Him and place His own garments back on Him, and lead “ Him away to crucify Him,” 27:31. Are you watching? Are you taking in the whole terrible scene? Do you see it? The Lord Jesus Christ is still wearing “the crown of thorns” as He is nailed to the cross and suffers and dies. Why? Because He is not only dying for the sins of the world, but He is paying the redemption price for the land; the cursed earth so that one day it will no longer bring forth “thorns and thistles” and other noxious and harmful weeds and plants. Remember that “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now,” and that “the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation
[unveiling] of the sons of God,” Romans 8:22; 8:19. ]
Now read Isaiah 11:6-9, 35:1-10, 51:3, 55:12-13, 65:25, Ezekiel 34:25, Hosea 2:18, Amos 9:13, and many other similar Scriptures, and lift up your heart and voice and rejoice and give praise to our precious “Kinsman Redeemer” who wore that “crown of thorns” as He suffered and bled and died on the cruel cross for you and me. Glory to God! Thank You Lord Jesus!
The Scriptures tell us explicitly that when Christ ascended back to the Father after His resurrection, He “sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high,” Hebrews 1:1-4. See also Acts 2:34, 7:55-56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 8:1, 10:12, 12:2, and 1 Peter 3:22. He has been at the right hand of our Heavenly Father throughout this present dispensation directing the entire Kingdom of God [Matthew 28:18] and waiting for the “appointed time” to come back to receive His “bride” to Himself [John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:1-2] and carry out the rest of His ministry that is recorded in the written Word. [Yes I know that His ministry will never be finished!]. Now let’s move forward to the Tribulation period and watch our precious “Kinsman Redeemer” again…….
[ Look now in Revelation 5 as a “book…..sealed with seven seals” is introduced into the Heavenly scene, 5:1. Look at John the beloved as he weeps bitterly “because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon,” 5:4. Watch as the angel tells John, “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed [qualified] to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof,” 5:5. ]
Why did John weep so bitterly? What is this “book”? It is the Title Deed to the Earth! Read Psalm 24:1-2. John knew God’s Law of Redemption for the Land. John knew that unless a man; a “kinsmen” qualified to act on behalf of the whole human race, was found to open the “book,” the earth and everything in it would forever remain in the possession of Satan and under the curse of sin. Can you even imagine the joy that swept through John’s soul when our precious “Kinsman Redeemer” stepped forward? Glory to God!
[ Now watch as our precious “Kinsman Redeemer” steps before the Father’s throne in Heaven and takes “the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne,” 5:7. Watch now as at that very moment “the four beasts [living creatures representing redeemed Israel] and four and twenty elders [representing raptured New Covenant believers] fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints,” 5:8. Listen as they sing the glorious “new song” of redemption, knowing full well that through the sacrifice of Christ they and the earth are eternally “redeemed” and that they will “reign on the earth,” 5:9-10.
Then in the next five chapters of Revelation, watch as our precious “Kinsman Redeemer” breaks the seals on the book and pours out the judgments in the first half of the Tribulation which are required by God’s Law to redeem the earth out of Satan’s possession and return it to the heirs of the rightful owners; redeemed mankind, the descendants of Adam and Eve. Oh, glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Thank You Lord Jesus! Praise Your Holy Name! ]
That our beloved “Kinsman Redeemer” accomplishes this redemption of the earth is clearly seen in Revelation 10 as John sees the Lord at the middle of the Tribulation with the “little book open,” 10:1-2. Every term and condition for redeeming the earth set forth in the Title Deed has been met, and the earth and “every living thing that moveth upon the earth” has reverted to the “legal” “possession of our precious “Kinsman Redeemer.” As John watches, the Lord cries out “with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth” while standing with one foot on the land and one foot on the sea and His hand lifted up to Heaven, 10:3-6. What is happening here? The Lord Himself is doing the exact same thing that every explorer throughout human history has done when they have claimed a new land as their possession in the name of their God and their country. Read the Scriptural record for yourself and rejoice and give glory to our precious “Kinsman Redeemer.” Glory to God! Hallelujah!
Now read Revelation 11:15 which reveals the Heavenly Father’s stamp of approval on the legal transaction that has occurred. There, precisely at the middle of the Tribulation when the “seventh
trumpet” is sounded in Heaven, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever,” Revelation 11:15. Oh, praise the Lord! Lift up your voices and give glory to God!
THE JUDGMENT OF SATAN, THE FALLEN ANGELS, AND THE DEMONS…….But whoa! Wait a minute! Something is wrong! The decree declaring the legality of the Lord’s claim according to the Law of God has been upheld and declared, Revelation 11:15. So why doesn’t the Lord return immediately and take possession of the earth?
I want to remind our readers that even Satan KNOWS who is the Supreme Ruler in the Universe, James 2:19. In all of the wickedness perpetrated by Satan throughout human history, Satan has always been very careful to never go beyond what he knows Almighty God will tolerate. Satan himself does not want to be brought to judgment before the appointed time, Matthew 8:28-29. It is obvious that Satan must even ask the permission of Almighty God before he can lay his evil hands directly upon one of God’s people, or even upon their possessions, Job 1:6-12; 2:1-8. (For those believers who are having a hard way to go right now and believe themselves to be under Satanic attack, and are wondering why the Lord doesn’t do something to help, please remember that Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible. Read Job’s experience and believe God’s Word.)
Now let’s look at the world situation at the middle of the Tribulation as it is set forth in the inspired Word. We know that the whole world system is already in the possession of Satan, 1 John 5:18-19. The wicked men presently promoting the New World Order will have succeeded in establishing their long desired anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Bible, one world government, Psalm 2:1-2; Revelation 13:1-2. Satan’s man [Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 14:12-16; Zechariah 11:17], the antichrist, will have been exalted to world power, Revelation 13:3-8. Satan himself, through “the beast” [antichrist] whom he placed in power, will be receiving the “worship” and adoration that he has so long desired, Revelation 13:4; 13:8. Satan’s evil goals among mankind through the centuries will have been achieved! Now how could Satan just meekly give up all that “glory and power” he has so long lusted after? Satan won’t!
For the first time since his original fall, Satan will blatantly defy the Law of Almighty God and refuse to honor the proven legal claim of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth and all that is in it. Satan and all of his wicked followers will become illegal “squatters” on the earth, refusing to yield one square inch of it back to the Lord. Ho boy! Then the real “fireworks” begin!
It is at mid-Trib that God the Father Himself will literally “fly into a rage” and will say to His Son, “Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool,” Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Hebrews 1:13; 10:12-13. Notice that this prophecy occurs exactly seven times in the Scriptures, clearly indicating that it will be fulfilled during the seven year Tribulation; specifically during the last half of the Trib.
Almighty God “flying into a rage”? Unbelievable! Is that so? Then I suggest that our readers carefully study Isaiah 28:14-23. Notice especially verse 21, “For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act.”
The Hebrew word translated as “work” twice in this verse is the word “maseh.” This word taken in context literally means “a work of judgment against the wicked.” See Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, page 497, Strong’s No. 4639.
The two Hebrew words translated as “strange” in this verse are the words, “zur” and “nokri,” both words literally meaning “new; unheard of.” See Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, pages 242 and 551, Strong’s No’s 2114 and 5237. In other words, this prophecy will be fulfilled by God doing a “strange work” or “strange act” that is totally out of character with His Divine Nature. What is
the “normal” character of Almighty God? Yes, this is a fair question to ask for anyone who really wants to know the truth, and God’s inspired Word does give the answer. The Word explicitly states that “GOD IS LOVE,” 1 John 4:8. “Love” is the “normal” character of God the Father Himself. Let this truth sink into your soul as you consider how very grieved the Father was when He saw the “hate” being poured out on His own Son at Calvary and yet was unable to do anything about it because of His “love” for your soul and mine. May our own souls be moved to deep grief, remorse, and worship of Him as we thank our Heavenly Father for the “love” He extended towards us, John 3:16; Romans 5:5-8; 2 Peter 3:9. It was not just the Lord Jesus who was paying a terrible price for our salvation that day. The Father Himself was paying a terrible price as He watched His own precious Son suffer and bleed and die to pay the sin debt of mankind, who are totally undeserving of such love, Isaiah 53:3-6; 64:6-7.
But look again at the passage in Isaiah 28:21. The Hebrew word translated as “act” twice in this verse is the word, “boda.” This word literally means “a work, effect, or fruit of righteousness in order to bring about quietness.” In other words, a work the Father Himself will do in order to bring an end to the sin, wickedness, and rebellion in the Kingdom of God. See Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, page 600, Strong’s No. 5656. Glory to God! If every reader could see and feel what I am seeing and feeling right now, we would all lift up a mighty chorus of praise to our Heavenly Father and our wonderful Savior. Praise the Lord!
Imagine if you can, how our Heavenly Father, who because of His own character and nature had to watch His own Son suffer and die at Calvary in order to redeem fallen mankind, and could not intervene because of His love and promises [Word] given to men [Genesis 1:28-30; 3:15], is going to feel when Satan, the very being who first introduced evil into God’s righteous kingdom, dares to defy Him by refusing to honor the Lord’s proven legal claim and return possession of the earth back to our “Kinsman Redeemer.” [Yes, I KNOW it is a long sentence! I’m writing to uphold truth, not “scholarship!”] Yes, the Heavenly Father, the Supreme Ruler of the whole Universe, is going to be a wee bit angry and may even loose His “cool.” How thankful I am, that by the grace given to me through faith in His Son, I’m on His side and in His corner! Praise the Lord!
It is then not just “coincidence” that at mid-Tribulation one of God’s Heavenly angels flies through “the midst of heaven” [the sky above the earth] announcing to mankind living on the earth, “…..Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come:…,” Revelation 14:6-7. The rest of the 14th chapter then sets forth the “reaping” of “the harvest of the earth” during the last half of the Tribulation.
Also notice in this chapter the explicit statement that “the wrath of God…..is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation…,” 14:10. I am sure some today who teach the “pre-wrath theory” will not appreciate my saying so, but there has never been a time since Adam fell that the “wrath of God” was not being poured out upon the wicked, just as it has been [and still is] throughout this present dispensation, John 3:36; Romans 1:18; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:5-6. But what many fail to notice is that throughout human history “the wrath of God” has always been mixed with the mercy of God. Yet the last half of the Tribulation is the “appointed time” for God’s “wrath” to be “poured out without mixture” during the time required for the “seven golden vials [bowls] full of the wrath of God” to be poured out, Revelation 15:7-8.
This means that no lost person can even be saved during the last half of the Tribulation, UNTIL the final or seventh bowl of God’s “wrath” has been poured out. How can I be so sure? Doesn’t Revelation 15:8 explicitly say, “And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.” Well…?? It doesn’t take much of a Bible student to understand that the Temple of God in Heaven is the location of the true “mercy seat,” Hebrews 9:1-5; 9:22-24. If “no man” can then enter the Temple in Heaven UNTIL all seven of the bowls of “God’s wrath” are poured out, it is obvious that “no man” can come to the “mercy seat” in order to obtain mercy
during that time. Is this truth just too hard for some to understand? Once the last bowl of “wrath” has been poured out, then and only then will men be able to find mercy again in the salvation of their soul.
Imagine if you can, living on the earth during the last half of the Tribulation when one “plague” [bowl] of God’s “wrath” after another is being poured out [Revelation 16:1-17] upon the wicked Christ rejecting world, and there is not one act of “mercy” extended to any lost person on earth during that time. Yet today some who “profess” to be “Christians” are so spiritually illiterate that they not only teach that everyone living today must go through the Tribulation, but some of them are even “looking forward” to going through it! May God have mercy on such ignorance!
A careful study of Revelation 15-19 and many other related prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments, reveals that the Kingdom of the Antichrist [Satan’s kingdom on earth] and all of his wicked followers will be brought to total destruction. Millions [or billions…?] of the incorrigible wicked will die during the final terrible last half of the Tribulation as the righteous “judgment” and “wrath of God” is poured out upon sin loving, God hating, Christ rejecting humanity.
SATAN…….But the prophecies also reveal that Satan himself will be “arrested” and cast into “the bottomless pit,” where he will remain throughout the “thousand years” of the Lord’s Millennial Kingdom, Revelation 20:1-3. Some wonder why the Lord God will not immediately cast Satan into the “lake of fire and brimstone”? The simple answer is that Almighty God is always just and righteous and truthful; a God of “justice and judgment.” In eternity past, after Satan had rebelled against God and was “arrested” and condemned, he was released on appeal just as in any proper judicial process. Satan was promised back then that he would be given a “final hearing” at the “appointed time.” The Lord God always keeps His Word! The “appointed time” for final judgment of the spiritually “dead,” both human and angelic, is at the end of 7,000 years of human history. It is not at the end of the Tribulation. Therefore during the “thousand years” Millennial Kingdom, Satan will be “imprisoned” in “the bottomless pit” to await his “final hearing” a thousand years later. While he is in the pit during the thousand years, he will be unable to influence or deceive any human being on the earth during that time, 20:3. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
THE FALLEN ANGELS AND DEMONS…….If our readers will carefully study Revelation 18, this chapter deals with the final destruction of the literal city of Babylon located in the present nation of Iraq. The literal city of Babylon is going to be rebuilt during the Tribulation period and will become the Gentile capitol city of the world from which the antichrist will reign over the “ten kingdoms” of humanity during the last half of the Tribulation, Isaiah 14:3-4; Jeremiah 50 – 51; Zechariah 5:5-11; Revelation 17:12; 17:15-17.
Now look closely at Revelation 18:2, “And he cried with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils [demons], and the hold [prison] of every foul spirit, and a cage [prison] of every unclean and hateful bird [fallen angels].” The words “hold” and “cage” in this verse are translated from the same Greek word. The Greek word is “phylake,” which literally means “prison.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 659, Strong’s No. 5438. Right there, beneath the waters of the sea which will cover Babylon, both the fallen angels and demon spirits will be “imprisoned” during the “thousand years” of the Millennial Kingdom, awaiting the “appointed time” for the final judgment of all the spiritually dead, Revelation 20:11-15. Therefore no fallen angel or evil demonic spirit will seduce or deceive or influence any man during the thousand years Millennial Kingdom of the Lord. Glory to God! Praise the Lord!
NEW COVENANT BELIEVERS……New Covenant believers will be in Heaven with our Lord and Heavenly Bridegroom during the seven years of the Tribulation on earth, having been resurrected and raptured prior to the beginning of the Tribulation, 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10.
During the seven years in Heaven we will not be idle. A number of events are set forth in the Scriptures for New Covenant believers during that time……..
The Bema Judgment…….All New Covenant believers “must” appear before the “bema” seat
after being raptured to glory. The “bema” judgment has nothing to do with determining one’s salvation, for only the saved will appear at that judgment. The purpose in appearing before the “bema” judgment is to “receive” the rewards due us for our “faithfulness” [or lack of it] in living for the Lord during this present life, 2 Corinthians 5:10. At the “bema” judgment each New Covenant believer will be assigned their position in the Lord’s Millennial Kingdom when we all return to the earth with Christ at the end of the Tribulation. The rewards given to believers at the “bema” judgment will be “according to our works,” 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; Revelation 22:12. I suggest that our readers carefully study The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 and The Parable of the Pounds in Luke 19:11-27. Both of these parables give insight into the “bema” judgment of believers. There are also numerous other Scriptures which shed light on this future judgment of the works of believers.
The Marriage…….Following the “bema” judgment, the marriage of Christ to His presently espoused Gentile bride; His church, will occur, 2 Corinthians 11:1-2. In spite of what some teach today, there is a direct connection between the “bema” judgment and the marriage. Keep in mind that the “bema” judgment will reveal the faithfulness or lack of faithfulness of every true believer. Christ will not be marrying an “unfaithful” bride. Let every true believer take this to heart!
If even a true believer does not love the Lord enough in this present life to live for Him, study and uphold His Word, pray in His name, witness to others, seek to obey His commandments [John 13:34-35; 14:21-25], and seek His will for their life, what in the world gives them the idea that they will be in “the bride of Christ”? Whether some like it or not, the Word of the Lord clearly speaks of “guests” at the wedding, Matthew 10:10-11. The “guests” are obviously not the bride! Now which do you want to be? Do you want to be one of the “guests” at the wedding, because at some point in your life you exercised a genuine “faith” in Christ and obtained salvation [your “fire escape” from hell]? Or…..is it the fervent desire of your heart to be a part of His bride because you love Him intensely, seek daily to let Him direct your life, and seek to totally devote yourself to carrying out His will in and for your life? Just how much does the Lord Jesus Christ really mean to you?
Since Christ is the “Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” [Revelation 5:5]; a Jew, there is no question that the marriage will be patterned after the traditional Jewish marriage customs. The Gentile bride [the Lord’s church] in this case will be marrying her Jewish Bridegroom. This study is too long already, and I will not take the time here to set forth the beauty and symbolism of the Jewish marriage. I would urge every reader to research the Jewish marriage customs. Also study Psalm 45, the Book of Ruth, and The Song of Solomon again in order to see what lies ahead for New Covenant believers in “the ages to come.” Glory to God!
The Glorious Return……After a beautiful seven years “honeymoon” in glory, we New Covenant believers will return to this earth with our precious Heavenly Bridegroom to subdue and reclaim this entire earth for our Lord and for mankind. Thereby the earth will once again be in the possession of redeemed mankind, exactly as it was before Adam’s fall, Zechariah 14:5, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, and Revelation 19:11-14. Let every reader keep in mind that this will not be the end of God’s great plan for redeemed mankind, but rather the beginning, James 1:18; Ephesians 2:4-7; Romans 8:18. Don’t miss it for the world!
After returning to the earth with Christ New Covenant believers will take up their assigned positions as “kings and priests,” ruling and reigning with Christ over those of mankind in their natural bodies who have survived the Tribulation, Daniel 7:18; 7:27; Revelation 5:8-10; 20:4. That alone will be “glory” for God’s New Covenant believers, but that is just the beginning…..
The Eternal Ages to Come…….The inspired Word explicitly states that “the world to come” has not been placed “in subjection” to the angels, Hebrews 2:5. Any reader who has seriously studied what God’s Word has to say about the spirit world knows that angels are the present overseers [administrators] of the whole world system. See Genesis 3:24, Psalm 34:7, Ecclesiastes 5:6, Isaiah 37:36, Daniel 4:13-17, 6:22, 9:20-21, Matthew 1:20, Luke 1:11, 1:26, 2:8-15, and many other
Scriptures too numerous to list. Just as the angels of God presently oversee and administer God’s kingdom on earth, so Satan’s angels also oversee and administer Satan’s kingdom on earth. This is why New Covenant believers are explicitly told, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [the heavenlies],” Ephesians 6:12. There is a spiritual war going on, and the battlefield is the hearts and minds and souls of mankind.
Every true believer should know that Satan was created as an angel; one of the order of angels known as “cherubs,” Ezekiel 28:11-19. Yet by his own freewill he made the choice to raise an insurrection against God and succeeded in persuading one-third of the angelic hosts to follow him in his wickedness. Because it was an angel who introduced sin into God’s righteous kingdom, the Lord God is going to take the administration of the earth out of the hands of angels and place the administration of it in the hands of “born again” New Covenant believers, Hebrews 2:6-13. This will guarantee that there will never be a repeat of Satan’s rebellion in all eternity, for God’s Kingdom will be overseen and administered by “the sons of God,” Romans 8:14-17. Go back to page 12 of this Bible study and review what has been imparted to and implanted within New Covenant believers. Once the body of every New Covenant believer is “changed” and made like the “glorious body” of Christ [1 Corinthians 15:51; Philippians 3:20-21] we will be rid of our present “sin nature” “for ever,” and it will be impossible for us to cheat, lie, lust, hate, murder, or commit any kind of sin. Why? Because in being “born of God” we have received “the mind of Christ” and have been made “a partaker of the divine nature” of Almighty God Himself, 1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Peter 1:2-4. Praise the Lord!
I am well aware that most believers today have never studied these truths nor have they been taught them by their pastors. Therefore some will be very reluctant to believe the truths I have presented in this study. I will simply say that throughout the years of ministry the Lord has graciously given me, I have never learned how to blatantly deny what God’s Word explicitly states. These passages in God’s Word do not need to be “interpreted.” They need to be “believed!”
By His very Divine Nature “God cannot lie,” Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18. “…for God cannot be tempted with evil,” James 1:13. “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all, 1 John 1:5. Dear reader, this is the “divine nature” that has been implanted in the soul of every true New Covenant believer at the time we received Christ as our personal Savior and were “born again” [born from above]. Just as it is impossible for God to sin, so it will be impossible for the New Covenant believer to sin once we have our new bodies made in fashion “like His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself,” Philippians 3:21. Glory to God!
Now do our readers who are true New Covenant believers understand why the Book of Hebrews repeatedly states that those who have received Christ as their personal Savior under the New Covenant have a “better hope” [7:19], a “better covenant” [7:22], “better promises” [8:6], “better sacrifices” [9:23], “in heaven a better and an enduring substance” [10:34], a “better country” [11:16], a “better resurrection” [11:35], a “better thing” [11:40], and “better things” [12:24]?
We can then conclude that “the world to come” will not be placed under the administration of angels, but rather will be under the administration of “man,” Psalm 8:1-9; Hebrews 2:5-13. But what “kind” of man? No, it will not be sinful, fallen man as presently known! Rather, “the world to come” will be placed under the administration of the “new man” who is being “created in Christ Jesus” as a special “kind” of man [James 1:18] for the express purpose of ruling and reigning with Christ over the whole redeemed creation. Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Did I say over the whole creation? Yes I did! Read Psalm 8:3-6 and compare it with Hebrews 2:7-9. Doesn’t Psalm 8:3 explicitly state that “the heavens” are the works of the Lord’s “fingers”? Doesn’t 8:6 explicitly state that “man” has been given “dominion” over the works of the Lord’s “hands”? The last time I checked the “fingers” were a part of the “hands.” Hello!
Throughout human history mankind has had a desire to soar into the heavens. This is no better seen than in the “space programs” of modern man. But whether men like it or not, the “heavens”
today are “off limits” to fallen mankind. Read it for yourself in Psalm 115:16. Men today are “intruders” in the heavens. But will men ever be permitted to go out into the vastness of the heavens? Of course they will!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to understand that Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2 clearly place “the heavens” under the dominion of redeemed mankind in “the ages to come.”
In the “ages to come” the new earth [Revelation 21-22], even with “no more sea,” will be filled to capacity. Then the Lord God will reach out into the solar system and even beyond and select other planets for redeemed mankind to colonize, and “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this,” Isaiah 9:7. The Lord will also select a “glorified” saint, a “new man” [James 1:18] presently being created in Christ under the “new covenant,” to reign over the colonists who immigrate to and populate the new planet. Why a “glorified” saint as their ruler? In order to guarantee that what happened in eternity past when Satan and his angels rebelled will never happen again in all of the eternal “ages to come.” Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Dear readers, in this study I have tried to set before you the majesty and greatness and wisdom and infinite power of our God! Rejoice in His majesty and greatness and wisdom and His infinite power to show unto His people “the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” in all of “the ages to come,” Ephesians 2:7. Glory! Glory! Glory!
There is so much more to this subject, but I must close! I have set forth many more details in my series of studies entitled “The Ages to Come….,” which I will be glad to send to any reader on request.
What I hope has been achieved in this study is to give our readers a little glimpse of “the ages to come” in order to stir the heart of every reader to seriously study God’s wonderful inspired Word, and to “make your calling and election sure,” 2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 1:10. I want to meet every reader in glory at the coming of the Lord to resurrect and rapture His people. Please don’t disappoint me!
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NOTICE: Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others or to quote from it in context as written.
Please address all comments, questions, and other correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be contacted by email at either:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.”
2 Corinthians 13:14